Westport Beach Prices Rise — And Fall

Wednesday’s decision to raise annual beach sticker and daily parking fees at Westport’s 3 beaches — Compo, Old Mill and Burying Hill — drew plenty of praise. It rankled others — particularly Westonites. (Click here; then scroll down for comments.)

But — as alert “06880” reader and Weston resident Mary McGee notes — a 4th “Westport beach” becomes entirely free this summer.

It’s Sherwood Island State Park.

Last fall, state officials eliminated the parking fee for Connecticut residents at most state parks. (Sherwood Island’s was $9 on weekdays, $13 on weekends.) It’s been replaced by a $10 charge, added to the Department of Motor Vehicles registrations we pay every 2 years.

Shewood Island State Park: 232 acres of prime real estate, right here in Westport. And admission is free!

It sounds like a dumb move, for a state reeling from a budget crisis. But officials estimate the change will raise $16 million more annually for our state parks.

Out-of-state residents will still pay a daily fee at Sherwood Island. Last year it was $15 on weekdays, $22 on weekends.

So why did so many out-of-staters pay more for Compo Beach last summer — and will probably do so again this year?

Alcohol.

It’s permitted on South Beach — but banned throughout Sherwood Island.

Maybe we should be thankful, after all, for the huge increase in Uber dropoffs and pickups.

7 responses to “Westport Beach Prices Rise — And Fall

  1. I’m not sure I understand your comment “Maybe we should be thankful, after all, for the huge increase in Uber dropoffs and pickups.” Why is that a good thing?

  2. OK maybe you can’t drink it as openly as at Compo with a champagne glass in hand, but you can certainly drink alcohol at Sherwood as long as you aren’t blatant about it.

  3. While alcohol is only technically permitted on South Beach, enforcement on other parts of the beach has become virtually non-existent. What’s worse, most people are openly swilling their non-permitted beers and wine out of glass bottles and cups. Take a look at the garbage cans on a sunny weekend afternoon and you will know what I mean. This was somewhat masked in prior years due to the deeply-tanned, shaggy haired guy who used to scavenge the garbage bins up and down the beach for cans and bottles for recycling (I don’t know his name). He wasn’t around last summer – maybe he turned all those bottles and cans into a house in Florida! – and nobody else took up the cause, so the alcohol rule flaunting became more noticeable,